When it comes to money, we’ve all got our fair share of regrets. And my guess is the older we get the more of those we have. Until we end up with more baggage than the airport. Lugging it around wherever we go.
And not only do our money regrets weigh on us emotionally but they also make us feel embarrassed, unable to make that next step. Constantly living in the past.
It’s a dark and gloomy place to live in.
Just because we messed up with our money doesn’t mean we need to walk around with all that misery. We have to stop being so hard on ourselves.
Regret is bad and it can eat us up alive – if we let it but use that regret to never make those mistakes again. Better yet, see your mistakes for what they really are: teachers.
It’s all about this simple mindset change. See your mistakes as failures and you’ll sure as hell feel like one. See your mistakes as part of the bigger picture; something you can learn from and you’ll feel better already! Read here how celebrating your failures will lead to your success!
You’re running a money marathon; not a 10-sec sprint!
But dealing with our money can be overwhelming.
There’s a gazillion different things that have to work together to make us feel good about where we’re at. From investing to budgeting to spending (where most of our regrets come from btw!) it can be a total minefield.
And if there’s one thing that’s gonna help you make sure you never have regrets with money ever again it’s to plan, plan, plan.
Personal finance is not one of those things you can “hack” in a couple hours (sorry, to all the crammers out there!) it’s more like a lifelong marathon.
It’s not something you do once and forget about. It’s a constant. And that’s what most of us miss.
And unless you’re old ‘n grey, it’s never too late to start over. To get back on track and get your finances where they need to be.
Don’t give up. Almost everything is fixable. As long as there’s time, anything’s still possible.
#1 Invest for the life you want
Most regrets come from people who are mid-way through this journey we call life and wish they’d invested sooner. Put more money aside when they were younger. So that it can grow. And grow.
But it’s never too late. Compounding works best when it’s given tons of time but better to invest late than to have never invested at all! Plus, we’re all living longer (yay) which means our money’s gotta live longer too. And investing is how you boost your money’s lifespan.
Picture the life you want and work backwards.
And it all starts with how much you’re able to save and invest. And on boosting your net worth so that you get to a point where you basically never have to work again. (Read here how to get your 1-way ticket to financial freedom)
A smart guy once told me to plan your targets by age.
It’s not enough to say “I wanna retire at 55”. You have to put the work in place. Decades ahead. To make sure you get your early and sunny retirement.
You should set yourself income targets and net worth targets. Set yourself mini-goals along the way to make sure you’re on-track.
Once you have targets work backwards and figure out a saving & investment plan to get you there.
Remember, it’s so much easier to scrimp and scrape when you’re in your 20s and 30s. Much harder to do when you’re in your 40s and 50s.
#2 Deal with your debt!
If there’s one area of money we end up regretting most is debt. More like falling down its rabbit hole.
Debt is one of those things that can throw you off course and screw everything up.
Debt is a drag on your money and mind.
It weighs you down like an emotional backpack.
The average credit card charges an interest rate of 18% which, hey, is great and all if you’re the one lending out but for us lot who have to pay it on our consumer loans, it can be pretty painful.
And creep up before you know it. (Read here why credit cards are cool but also completely crazy!)
Of course, not all debt is created equal.
There are better debts, like student loans. Education is a powerful asset but honestly, nowadays info is at the tip of our fingertips. And ChatGPT passed the bar with flying colours!
But that still doesn’t diminish the value of a degree. A degree is something no one can take away from you. It can open doors for you.
Sure, you can make it big without going to college but for most of us, it’s the best starting place.
Then there’s the debt that will take up the most space: a mortgage. This is the one we spend most our lives paying off.
Mortgages squeeze your cash flow. It means you have barely any wiggle room should things go haywire and you’re basically making your lender rich. And for anyone remortgaging now, with rates at 4%+, it’s a disaster.
Use your free cash flow to pay down your debt. If you just do the min, you’re making the lenders super rich. And debt weighs you down. But this will not be the right decision for everyone.
Some like to have a mortgage on their home so they could invest all that money that would’ve gone into their home and earn a higher return.
But there’s something to be said for owning your home outright. But this is personal finance. It’s deeply personal. You’ve gotta do what feels right for you even if it doesn’t always make the most financial sense (like paying off your mortgage!)
But when it comes to a mortgage most don’t realise debt can work against you in the bad times. It multiplies the trouble. So when it comes to taking out a mortgage, do yourselves a favour and don’t stretch yourself to the max.
Leave yourself some wiggle room.
#3 Choose you to spend it!
When you’re 90yo you won’t be wishing you had worked harder. Invested more. Saved more. Nah.
You’d be wishing you had spent more. Spending – on the right things – will make you a gazillion times happier than staring at a bunch of zeros on a screen. Read here why if you can’t spend now you’ll never be able to and how that’s a bigger problem than you realise.
Don’t take your money to the grave.
Sure you wanna leave a chunk for the next gen but don’t forget to live a little. Spend your money. That’s what it’s there for. It’s meant to bring you enjoyment and meaning.
Spending your time right is a whole different ballgame. But the 2 are often interlinked. It’s all about your priorities.
But not doing things will eat us up more than spending on them. Set aside money to do the things you love. Make it part of the plan.
What’s the point of earning good money and saving and investing if you hoard your cash. That’s sad.
My mums 65yo friend was recently diagnosed with a condition that prevents her from travelling. These are meant to be the years where the jets off with her hubby. Exploring the world.
But she can’t do that.
We end up regretting the things we didn’t do. The trips we didn’t take. The time we didn’t spend.
Don’t waste so much time doing all the other stuff to grow your money when you forget about the most important one: enjoying your money.
Live a life with fewer regrets by doing more.
Disclaimer: This blog is not investment or financial advice. It is my opinion only. This blog is not a personal recommendation to buy/sell any security, or to adopt any such investment strategy. Always do your own research before you commit to any investment